Buckle up, folks, because this one will challenge you in a different way than our profiles with longer intervals! Encore means “again” in French, and we are going to do these short intervals again, and again, and again. When it’s time to go again, you can just repeat the phrase “encore!” You will find that your riders will be so engaged they may not even notice the time passing.
While this profile may provoke some groans from your riders mid-class, you can bet they’ll be asking you afterward when you will do this ride encore!
The workout incorporates sets of 30/30s (30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy), 40/20s, and 60/60s. While the recovery is short in between the repeated repetitions, there is sufficient recovery between sets and longer recovery between the rounds of sets.
Finding the right work intensity and then very quickly going back and forth to it after recovering for only 20 or 30 seconds will be easy if you have power and your riders have their tested power zones. However, if you have power and your riders do not have zones (probably the majority of studios with power), it will take a few reps to fine-tune the desired output—but once determined, you can quickly return to that effort throughout the remainder of the intervals for each cadence. If your bikes don’t have power, it’s a little more challenging, but it’s still possible and I provide coaching tips on how to guide your riders to find the correct effort through perceived exertion. (Take note…it’s not your 30-seconds-as-hard-as-you-can-go effort!)
I filmed myself teaching this ride—you can access the virtual ride below. Even if you don’t have a bike to ride along with, you will gain ideas on how to coach the ride effectively. Because of the repeated changes in effort and timing, you’ll need to be very focused both teaching and taking this ride. Watching me handle that on the video will assure you that you can do it yourself. If you do have a bike and are able to ride along with this workout, I can’t wait to hear how you enjoyed it. (Please leave me a comment when you have a chance to ride it!)
The logistics of repeatedly dialing in the correct resistance quickly can be a challenge since 30 seconds is so short; if it takes 10–15 seconds to fine-tune the knob to find the right power output or RPE, you’ve lost half of interval. And if you just swing the knob quickly to the right, you might under- or over-estimate the target intensity, reducing the chances you are getting the desired adaptations of the workout. I give you tips on how best to do that—in essence, I describe how to create a simulated version of the Stages sprint shift lever (for those who don’t have the Stages bikes).